From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-Sam the sheep dog and her human buddies, 10-year-old Jennie and her friend Beth, are back to solve another mystery. The trouble begins when Sam witnesses strange events as new neighbors move in. First, toads escape from a crate and hop in a long line down the street. Sam communicates events to Jennie through her thoughts, and, as in the past, Jennie can hear what the canine thinks. Later, the three odd-looking newcomers arouse suspicion with their weird behavior. Sam and the girls are convinced that they are witches who are up to no good. The story is fast paced and easy to read. Simple misunderstandings provide the perfect amount of intrigue, allowing the suspense to build naturally. All in all, an enjoyable read.Mary M. Hopf, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The third book in the Sam, Dog Detective series features the talking sheepdog who can be understood only by Jennie, the neighbor girl who cares for her when her owners are away. When three odd women move into the neighborhood, Sam is convinced they're witches. They've arrived with all sorts of caged animals, even frogs, all of which look sickly and miserable. Sam is sure the critters are under a spell, and suddenly she feels sick, too. Jennie has the opportunity to observe the neighbors up close when she stays with them while her mother works late. They do make large pots of a mysterious soup and have an array of herbs and vitamins. Sam, who's sure she's turning into a frog, convinces Jennie she must find the witches' book of spells before it's too late. The thin plot is secondary to Sam's active imagination, and Sam's complaints about a dog's life become tiresome fairly quickly, but children who love detective fiction will relish the absurd premise and the surprise ending. Shelley Townsend-HudsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved